Football

Here’s how Pizza Hut and DiGiorno responded after Papa John’s called out NFL

Taking a knee: How Colin Kaepernick started an NFL movement

It all started with sitting down during the anthem, which no one noticed at first. Here's how quarterback Colin Kaepernick's anthem protest turned into a pivotal movement for the NFL and its players.
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It all started with sitting down during the anthem, which no one noticed at first. Here's how quarterback Colin Kaepernick's anthem protest turned into a pivotal movement for the NFL and its players.

After Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter blamed the National Football League’s handling of player protests for sagging sales, other pizza companies chimed in.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started protesting racial injustice and police brutality last year by kneeling during the national anthem.

“The NFL has hurt us,” Schnatter said Wednesday. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

Meanwhile, Greg Creed, the CEO of Pizza Hut’s parent company, Yum Brands, said in a call with investors Thursday that the chain is “not seeing any impact” from the NFL protests on its sales, according to Business Insider. In fact, Pizza Hut posted its fifth-straight quarter of same-store sales growth Thursday.

Yum said that live sporting events, including baseball, college football and the NFL, were important to its business, CNBC reported.

Pizza Hut is the official sponsor of the NCAA, while Papa John’s is the official pizza of the NFL, meaning it’s likely to feel more impact from NFL issues and controversies.

DiGiorno went a bit further, trolling Papa John’s on Twitter both Wednesday and Thursday:

The company even changed its Twitter bio to “Better pizza. Better sales. It’s DiGiorno.”

On Thursday, Papa John’s responded to DiGiorno on Twitter with a new Twitter bio: “Frozen pizza = the pizza equivalent of a participation trophy.”

Many on the right have rallied around Papa John’s and Schnatter after his comments on the NFL, according to Business Insider. Others, however, have said the company should acknowledge that subpar pizza could have played a role.

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